Two planets will align to create a brilliant light in the sky that only happens every 800 years.
Posted in , Dec 8, 2020
Today’s guest blogger is Kaylin Kaupish, assistant editor for Mysterious Ways.
In the early evening of this year’s winter solstice—that's Monday, December 21, 2020—we can witness a glorious and rare sight. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will align in their orbits in what NASA refers to as a “great conjunction.” At that time, the glow of these planets will combine to create a brilliant light in the evening sky.
While the conjunction between these two planets happens every 20 years, the planets have not been this close to each other in 800 years. Which means the last time these planets shone this brightly was in 1226! And it won’t happen again until 2080.
Amy Oliver with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told USA Today the best way to see this phenomenon is “between dusk and 15 to 20 minutes after dark.” Viewers should be able to see it if they look southwest, weather permitting.
"Call it (2020's conjunction) a unique holiday gift to the world," says Oliver. Hopefully it will help spread a little hope and comfort during an uncertain holiday season.
As it’s written in the Book of Matthew, “And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”